I find it a bit ironic that I started road running again when I moved closer to the trails. But I still find myself torn about which one I prefer. I tend to work in some trail/gravel sections on a road route, just to make things more interesting. Or when I’m out on a hard trail run, I am dreaming of a magical trailhead to appear that will lead to a side street with, hopefully, a bus stop or a cafe. Which discipline do you like more? I definitely love both for very different reasons let’s try to settle the road vs. trail debate.
I love trails because…
… it’s more scenic. Tree therapy, beautiful nature views everywhere you look.
… it’s easier on your body. I feel less beat up training for an ultra than training for a road marathon. #truth
… I don’t feel as bad when I need to hike. It’s definitely a part of the process and unless I’m a superhero, I will definitely not be able to run up some steep climbs in the North Shore and elsewhere (yikes)
… it’s a lot more relaxed. People seem a lot friendlier on the trails and it’s not all about numbers, it’s more about the journey.
… the races have better aid stations. It goes way beyond orange slices and bananas. Sometimes there’s soup, chili, perogies, sandwiches… how can you say no?
… the climbs make you stronger. I managed to get a 10K PB while training for an ultra.
I love road because…
… it’s faster to get through a road route than a trail route. Part of this is due to the terrain but also because you can shut your brain off and not worry too much about obstacles on the road.
… I like doing speed work on a track. Some of my favourite workouts are on a track and it helps you get faster.
… I can focus on my stride and posture. It’s hard to do that on a trail since the terrain is uneven and possibly technical but on the road I can correct some bad form.
… I can end at a food spot or run to do an errand. I like to be productive and get more than one thing done during a workout. So I would run to a place I need to shop at or reward myself with a tasty treat.
… you usually get medals at races. A lot of trail races requires a podium finish before you get one.
… you get to explore your neighbourhood. It’s partly why I have been running more road lately. I have been discovering shortcuts and neat little spots I want to check out in the future, simply by running around the neighbourhood and beyond using City Strides.
In conclusion, I’m still torn. But the needle is definitely inching closer to the trail side because I had an easier time thinking about the pros of trail running than road running.
So what about you? Road vs. trail? Let me know in the comments why you like either discipline.